Our Frequently Asked Questions page provides answers to the most common questions we receive.  If you have additional questions email or call us at 888-887-2584 and we'd be happy to assist you!

Q. Why choose Archival Designs?

Archival Designs brings you over 35 years of experience in the house plan design business.  We offer the best value for your money by offering the highest quality home designs.

We offer a 10% military & first responder discount, as well as builder discounts for life!  Archival Designs guarantees the lowest prices anywhere online. Learn more about our Best Price Guarantee.

All house plans sold by Archival Designs have been designed to comply with the International Residential Code (IRC) and to the local codes in the area where the designer resides or where the house was built.


Q. Do your plans meet building codes in my area?

All house plans are designed to meet or exceed the national building standards required by the International Residential Code (IRC). Due to differences in climate and geography throughout North America, every city, local municipality and county has unique building codes and regulations that must be followed to obtain a building permit. Prior to purchasing a set of house plans, we recommend that you meet with your local building officials in order to determine the building requirements for your area.  It is the responsibility of the purchaser(s) and/or builder to ensure that the structure is constructed to meet the codes of their local area.  

Important Note:

  • Customers building in CA, OR, SC, WA, and NV: Our house plans do not meet Earthquake Seismic/Wind code requirements.
  • Customers building in GA, SC, FL, and NC Coastal Areas: Plans may have to be engineered to meet local Hurricane/Wind codes.
  • Customers building in AL, AZ, CO, CT, DE, FL, ID, LA, KY, MD, MA, MN, MI, NV, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, UT, WY, and VA: Plans may have to be engineered by a local licensed professional to meet local building codes. Please call your local building department before placing order.
  • Customers building in NV: NV law permits an owner or builder to build a house from their own plans. Contact your local building department to verify if our stock house plans will be accepted before placing order. 


Q. What is included in the construction drawings?

The construction drawings will include detailed, dimensioned floor plans, exterior elevations, roof plan, foundation plan, basic electrical layout, cross-section(s), foundation plan, and other general specifications. Some plans will include interior cabinet layouts.


Q. Will the plans be stamped or signed by an architect or engineer?

House plans do not come stamped or signed by an architect or engineer.  Additionally, house plans typically will not include structural engineering notes/calculations. Please check with your local building officials to determine if a stamp is required. If required, the building department will only accept a stamp from a licensed professional in the state where the home will be built.

Depending on your city, county, and state building requirements, house plans may need to be reviewed by a local licensed architect or engineer for structural details and code standards before construction begins. This is particularly true in coastal areas and those facing seismic events, extreme winds, and heavy snow. If you are building in any of these areas, a licensed structural engineer will likely be needed to provide the necessary calculations and additional drawings. We authorize the use of our plans conditioned on your obligation and agreement to strictly comply with all local building codes, ordinances, regulations, and requirements, including permits and inspections at the time of and during construction. We recommend checking with your local building department for the most current requirements.  The purchaser(s) and/or builder are responsible for additional expenses incurred through meeting municipality requirements or other requirements for construction.


Q. Will the foundation included in the construction drawings work for my site?

Our foundation plans have been designed for universal conditions and may need to be adjusted to fit your specific site conditions. The foundation should be modified by a local structural engineer to comply with soil testing laboratory findings and local building requirements.


Q. Do your plans include electrical, plumbing and mechanical drawings?

Our house plans will include schematic electrical drawings; however, circuiting or wire sizing will not be included.  Your electrical subcontractor will typically provide these drawings. 

HVAC and plumbing drawings are not included. Your mechanical and plumbing subcontractors will determine the best layout for your site.  Local HVAC codes, climatic requirements and commonly used systems vary throughout the country.  The direction of how water flow will enter the home vary from case to case. For this reason, it is impossible to provide universal plans. 

Q. How many times can I build this plan?

With the purchase of any plan package, you are licensed to build only one structure from the construction plans.  If you plan on building a  home more than once, please contact us for more information.  Some house plans have the option to upgrade to a multi-use license.


Q. Do I own the copyright to the plan I purchase?

No, the designer of the plan retains all copyrights regarding all plans sold.  The purchase of a set of house plans in no way transfers any copyright of other ownership interest to the buyer except for a limited license to use that set of home plans for the construction of one structure.


Q. Can I see a sample set of construction plans?
Absolutely! Visit our What Is In a Set of House Plans page to view a typical set of construction drawings. Plan packages may vary from design to design and may contain different details.  We strongly recommend that you contact us for a detailed list of contents for the plan you're interested in before purchasing.


Q. What is the cost to build?

There are many factors involved in figuring the price of your home. It is difficult to determine the actual cost of your home without knowing exactly what materials you will use, what you will pay for labor, and where you will be building.  The most accurate way to determine the cost to build is to meet with local builders in your area that have experience building similar homes to the one you’d like to build.


Q. Can I modify a stock plan?

Absolutely!  To request an estimate submit a modification application.

Q. How is square footage calculated?

Square footage calculations include living (heated/cooled) spaces and are calculated from the outside perimeter of the exterior walls.  The square footages do not include garages, basements, decks, porches, bonus rooms, and other non-heated spaces. Two-story or vaulted areas, and staircases are only included once in the calculations.  Brick and stone is not included in the calculations.


Q. How do I purchase a plan from Archival Designs?

Purchasing a plan is easy! Simply add the house plan you would like to the cart and proceed to checkout.  You can also give our home plan specialists a call at 770-831-6363 and place your order by phone.  Archival Designs accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.


Q. What is the difference between the plan format options?

The type of package you choose will be determined based on your specific needs:

  • Electronic PDF -A complete set of working drawings delivered in digital PDF format.  This option comes with a license to build ONE home and includes a copyright release for printing unlimited sets of plans and making modifications.
  • Electronic CAD -A complete set of working drawings delivered in digital DWG format.  AutoCAD files are used by design professionals to make significant modifications or engineering calculations to the plan. This option comes with a license to build ONE home and includes a copyright release for printing unlimited sets of plans and making modifications.
  • 5 Bond Sets -Five printed sets of working drawings shipped to you.  This option comes with a license to build ONE home.
  • 5 Bond Sets + PDF -Five printed sets of working drawings shipped to you, plus a digital version in PDF format.  This option comes with a license to build ONE home and includes a copyright release for printing unlimited sets of plans and making modifications.


Q. How many sets of plan will I need to build my home?

The actual number of sets you will need will vary depending on your specific needs.  You will need one for yourself, and multiple for the mortgage lender (appraiser), planning/zoning department (building permit), the subcontractors, and your builder.  When you purchase a reproducible plan package such as PDF or AutoCAD, you will have the freedom to print as many sets as you need.  You may also choose to purchase 5 Bond Sets + PDF if you prefer to have physical and digital copies of your construction drawings.


Q. How quickly will I receive my house plan?

All orders are processed within 1-2 business days.  We make all efforts to email PDF or AutoCAD orders same business day! 


Q. What is the refund policy?

Due to the intellectual knowledge shared in our product, all sales are final and cannot be returned or exchanged under any circumstances.   For more information please view our Refund Policy.

Q. Can I find out if a certain plan is built in my area?

In order to protect our customer's privacy we are unable to provide any information regarding the location of homes that have been built from our house plans.  Many house plans feature photography or renderings.


Q. I am an international customer. How do I purchase a plan?

We sell home plans to customers all over the world! We strongly recommend purchasing AutoCAD packages since it will give you the ability to have the house modified to comply with local building codes in your country. You may order online or by phone at 770-831-6363. At this time, international shipping is only available to Canada. Please call for more information on shipping fees to Canada.


Q. Will a material list be included with my house plan purchase?

A material list will not be included with your purchase. Archival Designs does not offer material lists unless noted otherwise on a plan page.

Feel free to visit Unlimited-Options.com to learn more about their material list services.

Q. Does sales tax apply to my purchase?

Sales tax applies to all customers in the state of Georgia. The applicable sales tax will be determined based on your county of residence. Please contact our home plan specialists at 770-831-6363 for more information on sales tax.


Q. Do you offer discounts?

Archival Designs will occasionally offer discounted prices on the house plans.  The discounts exclude modifications, foundations, or upgrade options to the plans. Offers are not valid for prior purchases (no price adjustments). No rain checks will be issued.


Q. Is my personal and credit card information secure?

Yes. See our Privacy Policy for details.


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